We use cookies to give you the best experience possible. By continuing we’ll assume you’re on board with our cookie policy

Interpretation of Hamlet’s Soliloquy Essay Sample

The whole doc is available only for registered users OPEN DOC
  • Pages:
  • Word count: 635
  • Category: death

Get Full Essay

Get access to this section to get all help you need with your essay and educational issues.

Get Access

Interpretation of Hamlet’s Soliloquy Essay Sample

In literature, two crucial factors for success are universal validity and a message that is close to many people’s thoughts about a certain subject. Probably being the most famous monologue of all time, Hamlet’s soliloquy has a universal message to which many people can relate. The main themes in Hamlet’s soliloquy are dominated by dualities – amongst others life vs. death, strong vs. weak, sane vs. insane.

Throughout the soliloquy, Hamlet treats life as a subject. As mentioned above, duality is a general theme that applies to every aspect of Hamlet’s discussion with himself. Already from the first line, the duality is present – “To be, or not to be, that is the question” (page 158, line 56). Not only is the duality mentioned in this opening line, but also the reader is introduced to the verb “be” as a symbol of life itself. This being said, the soliloquy can be interpreted as a discussion on whether to commit suicide or not. Hamlet considers the different advantages and disadvantages of each choice. Most readers would have the opinion that suicide is a display of weakness and even a way to “chicken out” on life, but Hamlet’s opinion is the opposite. The rhetorical question “Whether ‘tis nobler in the mind to suffer / […] / Or to take arms against a sea of troubles / And by opposing end them.” (page 158, lines 57, 59-60) is a central point in the soliloquy. Hamlet talks about life as a very bad thing. Life is a long struggle that one can choose to endure, but that would be weak in Hamlet’s opinion. The opposite of this would be to be strong and end the life that one would have to endure.

The answer to “to be or not to be” is not that clear though. The quotation “To die, to sleep – / No more; and by a sleep to say we end / The heart-ache / […] / To die, to sleep – / To sleep, perchance to dream. Ay, there’s the rub, / For in that sleep of death what dreams may come.” (page 158, lines 60-62, 64-66) Hamlet’s fear of committing suicide is clearly depicted. Although it is explained somewhat clearly, that death would be a rational way of ending the evil life, Hamlet is now in doubt. As he compares death to sleep, he involves the mystics of what happens when the mind is not Deathconscious. He seems fearful of what happens when he will possibly be death, and that leads him to conclude that after all, he would rather deal with known problems than unknown. “But that the dread of something after death, / The underdiscovered country from whose bourn / No traveler returns, puzzles the will, / And makes us rather bear those ills we have / Than fly to others that we know not of?” (page 159 lines 78-82) supports, that mystic of afterlife is too much for him. He has made his mind up about suicide, and it is clear for all readers, that he will stay alive and deal with those problems that he know, rather than be surprised by problems that are possibly worse than the current ones.

If one has suicidal thoughts, one will most often have a tendency to have a distorted view on human emotions and how to express these, and this happens for Hamlet as well. It is depicted, that a strong person is in fact one who commits suicide and the opposite for a weak one. The fact that Hamlet concludes that he should not commit suicide and thus be strong is also the message in the soliloquy: No matter how distorted your emotions are, life is still life and a strong person would always choose life.

We can write a custom essay

According to Your Specific Requirements

Order an essay

You May Also Find These Documents Helpful

The death of Romeo and Juliet

Discuss three characters who are responsible for Romeo and Juliet's deaths Romeo and Juliet is a young couples play about love and hate . The continual feud between the Montague and Capulet families result in a ongoing conflict and end with the death of Romeo and Juliet . William Shakespeare closely tangles the play so every character and event plays an important role in the...

How is the Theme of Death Portrayed...

Death is presented to the audience as a form of punishment, in both The Outsider and Antigone. But the protagonists in the two texts develop different attitudes towards death. Antigone anticipates her own death from the opening scene and faces it bravely, but her confidence wanes after she is sentenced by Creon and she begins to appreciate what she will lose. Meursault, on the other...

"Death is Nothing to Us" - How...

Epicureanism is one of the philosophical schools of thought that was very popular during the Hellenistic period and was originally founded by Epicurus who lived from 341-270 BC. Epicurus continuously rejected the belief that gods interfered in human life and/or caused natural events to occur. One of his arguments was that if they don’t interfere in human life, they don’t interfere in human death. If...

The Murder of Duncan in "Macbeth"

Paying particular attention to Shakespeare's use of dramatic devices, compare the murder scenes of Duncan, Banquo and the Macduff family. 'Macbeth' is a classical tragedy, which follows the rise and fall of a once great man. Shakespeare's tragedy is about Macbeth's bloody rise to power, including the murder of the king, Duncan, and the guilt-ridden chain of evil deeds leading to more evil deeds. Macbeth...

The Most Responsible for Killing Duncan in...

In this essay I will be debating, on the bases of Act 1 of Macbeth, who is most responsible for killing Duncan the king of Scotland. I will consider all the factors that may have influenced Macbeth and I will measure and assess every ones contributions. Though it was Macbeth that commits the murder I will evaluate if he is solely responsible. The other characters...

Get Access To The Full Essay
Materials Daily
100,000+ Subjects
2000+ Topics
Free Plagiarism
All Materials
are Cataloged Well

Sorry, but copying text is forbidden on this website. If you need this or any other sample, we can send it to you via email.

By clicking "SEND", you agree to our terms of service and privacy policy. We'll occasionally send you account related and promo emails.
Sorry, but only registered users have full access

How about getting this access

Become a member

Your Answer Is Very Helpful For Us
Thank You A Lot!


Emma Taylor


Hi there!
Would you like to get such a paper?
How about getting a customized one?

Couldn't Find What You Looking For?

Get access to our huge knowledge base which is continuously updated

Next Update Will Be About:
14 : 59 : 59
Become a Member